After a brief tea refreshment, we drove back to Victoria to pay a visit to Craigdarroch Castle. Nicknamed today as “Canada’s Castle,” Craigdarroch Castle was built in 1887-90 by the Robert Dunsmuir, a man who made his fortune from coal and railroads. Like many houses built by the nouveau riche of the late 19th Century, to expense was spared and it was built large, originally on a 28-acre estate (although most of the surrounding land was later sold off). For us, it was a fascinating peek into a world mostly only seen in pictures and the sheer massiveness of the house impressed us- one just doesn’t get an idea of the sheer size until they actually experience it in person. 🙂
Here’s are few views of the exterior:
There was renovation going on so I wasn’t able to get the best pictures so here’s one from Wikipedia to help out:
And now for the interior…
One of the most interesting things we learned was that in restoring the house, great efforts were made to track down the original furnishings and various other artifacts though auction catalogs and the like- after the death of the Joan Dunsmuir in 1908, the house and its contents were dispersed in a number of sales since none of the heirs had the means to buy the others out. Also, ironically enough, Robert Dunsmuir died in 1889 before he could occupy his new house.
Moving along, here are some more views:
By now, you probably might have noticed that there were a number of garments on display. Unfortunately there were no signs or anything else that gave any information so it’s hard to know if these were original to the house or merely generic placeholders. But here they are:
And for a something Chinese…we’re not sure how that fit in but OK. 🙂
Here are some more views of various rooms:
The ballroom was closed due to issues with the soundness of the floor but there were a number of dance cards: 🙂
Overall, it was a wonderful experience and we highly recommend it for anyone visiting Victoria.